Louisville awaits top prospects decisions

Louisville's final 2007 recruiting class ranking will depend heavily on the decisions of four highly-ranked prospects that enter National Signing Day with the Cardinals among their final two choices. Will Louisville strike signing day magic? InsideTheVille.com has the latest.

Louisville's final recruiting class ranking this year will depend heavily on the decisions of four highly-ranked prospects that enter National Signing Day with the Cardinals among their final two choices.

The Cardinals, currently ranked #49 in the Scout.com national team rankings, could move considerably higher if they can strike some signing day magic like they did one year ago. If you'll recall, Louisville hit the mother-load last signing day, landing five-star DE Deantwan Whitehead and four-star S Brandon Heath.

Interestingly, while Steve Kragthorpe's first recruiting class at Louisville barely cracks the national Top 50 right now, the Cardinals 14 member class ranks among the nation's Top 25 when measured by the average star ranking per prospect. Louisville's 14 known commitments boast an impressive 3.13 average star ranking, second in the Big East behind only Pitt.

Now, Kragthorpe and staff will wait anxiously by the fax machine, hoping to land a few more signing day studs.

Here's a look at the recruiting wars that will decide the fate of Louisville's 2007 recruiting class:

Who will four-star linebacker Josh Bynes choose - Louisville or Auburn? The nation's #17 middle-linebacker prospect eliminated Iowa and South Carolina from consideration last week. Today, he'll sign with either the Cardinals or Tigers. Whoever signs the 6-2, 228-pound star will get a major boost in the national rankings.

Will Bynes pick U of L
or Auburn?
"The deciding factor for me will be which school fits me best and which people I want to be around for the next four years," said Bynes, who recorded 147 tackles and two sacks last season. "Louisville and Auburn are the two schools I just feel most at home. I felt very comfortable at both schools when I took my visit."

Louisville is also awaiting word from Bynes' highly-regarded teammate – 6-4, 215-pound linebacker Patrick Grant. The three-star prospect has narrowed his decision to Iowa, Louisville and South Florida. While he's fresh off of a visit to USF, more than one source has informed InsideTheVille.com that Louisville is the team to beat.

The nation's #22 strong-side linebacker prospect, Grant must decide whether he wants to stay closer to home or head out of state to play his collegiate football.

"Everybody at Louisville is focused on one thing: winning a national championship. That's important to me, because everybody want to play for a championship.

"Iowa is also a good school. They had a down year, but they should have a big turnaround next year. Louisville is recruiting me to play linebacker and Iowa to play defensive end. I'll play either position, it doesn't matter to me.

"I loved (USF) and (my mom) did, too. People don't understand how serious USF is. They recruit a bunch of guys from Florida and they've turned that program around. It's amazing what they're doing up there."

Bynes and Grant will announce their decisions at a 10 a.m. press conference Wednesday morning.

The Louisville coaching staff will also have to sweat out the decision of three-star Ohio safety C.J. Peake, even though the 6-2, 208-pound standout verbally committed to the Cardinals recently.

Two weeks ago, Peake backed out of a verbal commitment to Wisconsin and told the Louisville coaches to hold a spot open because he intended to sign with the Cardinals on national signing day. However, at the last hour, Peake opted to re-open things, throwing Wisconsin back into consideration.

Will Grant opt for
"I just want to rethink my decision," Peake said. Peake will take both a U of L and Wisconsin hat with him to his signing day announcement at Trotwood-Madison High. Peake's announcement is slated for 10 a.m.

And while Louisville remains a finalist for Norco, California offensive lineman Adam Tello, the Cardinals appear to be trailing Arizona State for the three-star prospects signature.

"Arizona State and Louisville are still my two favorites, and I'm still leaning to ASU," said Tello. "Louisville is a great school and they are proven winners. I loved the atmosphere and they seem very supportive of me at Louisville. I like the Big (East) and there are some tough teams there…but I want to go up against USC and Oregon.

"My dad thinks I should go to Louisville, because he knows how much I like to win and I have good chance at playing on a winning team. My mom thinks I should go to ASU because it's close to home. I like the fact that (ASU) is a college town and the athletes really look like they have fun there, plus it is close to home."

Stay tuned to InsideTheVille.com throughout the day for updates on each prospects decision.

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